RELEASE Number
7949-19

June 27, 2019

CFTC Announces LabCFTC Accelerator and Second FinTech Conference

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today two events that facilitate and incorporate market-enhancing FinTech innovation. Today, CFTC launched LabCFTC Accelerator, a component of LabCFTC, and announced that it will hold FinTech Forward 2019, the second annual conference dedicated to exploring the latest in FinTech developments, on October 24, 2019 at its Washington, D.C. headquarters during D.C. FinTech Week.

“We launched LabCFTC to facilitate market-enhancing innovation, inform policy, and ensure that we have the technological and regulatory tools and understanding to keep pace with changes to our markets,” said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. “Today, I am proud to announce the launch of the LabCFTC Accelerator and the date for our second FinTech conference given our belief that enhanced understanding can help inform policy and internal technology strategies.”

LabCFTC Accelerator is a component of the broader CFTC’s LabCFTC initiative, focused on deploying a variety of tools, including internal pilots and tests, market research, and innovation competitions in order to drive better understanding and potential adoption of emerging technologies.  As part of this effort, LabCFTC will be announcing the topic for its innovation competition under the Science Prize Competition Act (SPCA) at the 2019 FinTech Forward conference.   

Building on last year’s successful inaugural conference, FinTech Forward 2019 will explore the latest in FinTech developments, including digital assets, commodities, and platforms, machine learning and AI, RegTech, and algorithmic trading. FinTech Forward is spearheaded by LabCFTC in collaboration with CFTC’s Office of Customer Education and Outreach to bring together innovators, regulators, market participants, thought-leaders, and the general public to examine the impact of these developments on markets and customers. This year, the conference will leverage the participation of global regulators who will be in Washington for the CFTC’s Office of International Affairs’ International Regulators Symposium which typically attracts over 75 regulators from over 40 jurisdictions. 

“As underscored by today’s announcement of the LabCFTC Accelerator, our innovation competition, and the FinTech Forward 2019 conference, our approach to innovation and regulatory engagement include testing and experimentation, education, and collaboration,” said Chief Innovation Officer and LabCFTC Director Daniel Gorfine.  “Through this approach, we can gain a greater understanding of emerging risks, technologies, and trends, modernize our regulatory tools and operations, engage with innovators early in the development of new business models, and support better informed policymaking.”

“Last year’s conference provided the Commission valuable insight into the intersection of FinTech and our markets,” said Erica Elliott Richardson, Director of the Office of External Affairs. “Ensuring that all users of our markets are informed and understand how these developments impact them is paramount to the CFTC’s mission of protecting market users from fraud and manipulation.”

Registration for FinTech Forward 2019 will be open to the public early this fall with a detailed agenda forthcoming. For inquiries, please contact Shivon Kershaw, Strategic Communications and FinTech Education Lead, at LabCFTC.

About LabCFTC

Launched in May 2017, LabCFTC is an initiative aimed at facilitating market-enhancing FinTech innovation, informing policy, and ensuring that the agency has the regulatory and technological tools and understanding to keep pace with changing markets. It is the agency’s focal point to engage with FinTech innovation and promote fair competition by making the CFTC more accessible to FinTech innovators.  LabCFTC is an information source for Commissioners and staff on market-enhancing innovation that may influence policy development.  More information can be found at www.cftc.gov/LabCFTC.

About the Office of Customer Education and Outreach

The Office of Customer Education and Outreach develops and implements education initiatives designed to help customers protect themselves against fraud and other violations of the commodities laws.